Embed Size (px)
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace i
ASSESSMENT & LESSONS LEARNED FROM
November 4, 2011
This publication was produced for review by the Office of the United States Agency for International Development.
It was prepared by Manuel Orozco and Mariellen Jewers, Inter-American Dialogue
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace ii
Prepared for the United States Agency for International Development, USAID Contract
Implemented by A + Government Solutions, 1900 N Beauregard St # 105 Alexandria, VA 22311-1736
Phone: +1 (703) 379-7772
Fax: +1 (703) 379-7807
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace iii
ASSESSMENT & LESSONS LEARNED FROM
AFRICAN DIASPORA MARKETPLACE November 2011 DISCLAIMER The authors' views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace iv
CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .................................................................................................. 1 1. Development and the Diaspora: The African Diaspora Marketplace ..................... 1
2. Evaluation Framework .................................................................................................. 7
3. Impact on Local Development ................................................................................... 10
4. Grantees Business Performance ............................................................................... 14
5. Design & Implementation ........................................................................................... 17
6. Tentative Conclusions & Preliminary Recommendations ...................................... 19
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 1
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report analyzes the impact of the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM), a pilot business
plan competition and a private-public partnership between United States Agency for
International Development (USAID), Western Union and the Western Union Foundation. This
study assesses ADMs impact on local development and grantees' business performance.
Overall, we find that diaspora partnership initiatives are important mechanisms to engage in
local business development. ADMs impact, however, is limited due to factors internal to the
design and implementation, and external to the ADM, such as local infrastructure or limited
business experience by grantors. The ADM initiative produced many positive results. Several of
the businesses brought innovative products or services to local markets. In the long term, these
will have a diffusion effect on other businesses. The ADMs unique model of partnership with
diasporas strengthened transnational family enterprises, and diaspora partners were major
stakeholders and decision makers in all the businesses. Moreover, at least four out of fourteen
ADM funded businesses promise to be sustainable in the short-term, and three more have solid
prospects to succeed in the future.
This study made an effort to understand the extent to which the ADM process, the diaspora
engagement, and the financing itself influenced businesses success and impacted local development. This evaluation is based on interviews with stakeholders, and fieldwork carried
out in August 2011 in Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda as well as other data
This report is organized into six sections. Section one describes the theoretical context for the
ADM and presents a summary of our evaluation findings. The second section outlines our
evaluation framework. The third reviews the grantees impact on local development. Section
four examines ADM grantees' business performance, specifically their potential for sustainability
and growth. Section five presents our assessment of the ADM design and implementation. The
final section draws tentative conclusions on lessons learned and basic recommendations for
1. Development and the Diaspora:
The African Diaspora Marketplace Diasporas are increasingly seeking to engage in development in their home country and have
initiatives and resources to do so. Their efforts demonstrate how they view their role in the
development process of their home countries. Moreover, in that effort, they seek partners to
share the outcomes from these ventures. The African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM) is an
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 2
outcome of United States Agency for International Developments (USAID) realization of a
diaspora driven demand to invest in home country business projects. The results of the ADM
pilot are mixed, but promising. This section discusses first this trend in transnational
engagement and the evolution of diaspora investment partnerships. Next, we introduce the
ADM as an innovative approach to encouraging these partnerships. This section also discusses
some unique features of diaspora engagement that ADM has fostered and a general description
of the ADM grantees challenges and achievements to date.
DIASPORAS AND DEVELOPMENT
The economic activities performed by migrants vis-a-vis their home country are transnational
by default because they include local and trans-border interactions. Those activities, such as
remitting or investing, are often challenged by nation-state bounded views of development.
However, it is important to note that the global nature of social, economic and political
interactions is increasingly demanding normative and policy changes to benefit people.
Specifically, it is possible to see a tension between the intermestic and transnational nature of
human relations and nation-state bound rules of conduct.1 Seyla Benhabib2, among many scholars from varying intellectual backgrounds, rightly argues that:
we are at a point in the political evolution of human communities when the unitary
model of citizenship that bundled together residency on a single territory with
subjection to a common bureaucratic administration representing a people perceived to
be a more or less cohesive entity is at an end. We are facing today the disaggregation of
Benhabibs assessment is clearly visible in the context of international migration and the ensuing
processes that emerge from the economic and social link forged by migrants, their families, and
the institutions (public and private) with which they interact. For one, globalization has
increased a demand for foreign labor. Large and small businesses have increased their demand
for foreign labor in order to raise global productivity and competitiveness. Moreover, the
economic activities among migrants and their families have had direct implications on economic
growth and development in a global context.
Despite these patterns, a critical paradox is apparent: international cooperation for economic
development is circumscribed within the territorial lines of nation-states. From a normative and
policy standpoint, it is imperative to engage in development in a de-territorialized manner that
allows for a more fluid fulfillment of the human condition and that includes migrants and/or
diasporas in the development process.
Migrants' engagement in a transnational lifestyle, characterized by both opportunities and
hardships, features a paradox of distance and closeness, and often defines migrants as diasporas.
In fact, activitiessuch as sending money home, investing in the home countryare shaped by
a diaspora identity seeking to materialize a persons sense of belonging.
1 Sassen, Saskia, Territory, Authority, Rights: From Medieval to Global Assemblages (2006); Losing Control?
Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization (1996). 2 Benhabib, Seyla. Another Cosmopolitanism, Oxford University Press, 2008.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 3
Diasporas have been defined as:
sociopolitical formation[s], created as a result of either voluntary or forced
migration, whose members regard themselves as of the same ethno-national
origin and who permanently reside as minorities in one or several host
countries. Members of such entities maintain regular or occasional contacts with
what they regard as their homeland and with individuals and groups of the same
background residing in other host countries.3
Diasporas thus define themselves through relationships with the homeland, international
entities, and host-country governments and societies, thereby influencing various dynamics,
including development. One key consideration of these relationships is that they form, in part,
as a response to changes in the composition of the international system (be it the global
economy or the international political landscape) and to development or under-development.
People leave their countries because of social, economic and political conditions there, yet they
continue to engage with their homelands at various levels. Such engagement stretches the idea
and practice of development beyond territorial boundaries.
Because of these processes, taking diasporas and migrants economic activities into account
when exploring development policy is not only justified, but also necessary. Today diasporas are
subjects and objects of social change. Considering diasporas in a development framework is
essential to understanding the context in which they exist, that is their transnational and de-
territorialized space. From that point on, the economic activities of migrants can transform the
material base of migrants, their relatives, and their societies.
A point of departure to this imperative is the identification of partnerships that can bind
individuals and institutions to implement policy pathways inclusive of a range of players, such as
migrants, civil society, policy makers, development practitioners, or businesses. Diasporas are
increasingly motivated to promote development in their home country on local projects to
impact their communities. Diaspora investment partnerships, which are financing initiatives
undertaken by migrants and another entity from either the private or public sector to support business
in the migrants home community, represent an innovative approach to development and
ABOUT THE AFRICAN DIASPORA MARKETPLACE
ADM is a pioneering activity developed by USAID to engage diaspora in the development of
their country of origin. It capitalizes on this growing trend in diaspora investment partnerships.
The ADM was conceived, designed and implemented on the premise that it would encourage
and leverage productive diaspora investment in home countries, provide a stimulus for local
economic growth and job creation, spur business innovation and achieve social development
objectives. To date, it is also the most visible foray USAID has made in this new practice of
Diaspora Engagement. The ADM is now in its final phase; all appropriate grant disbursements
have been made and most of the grant agreements are nearing completion.
3 Sheffer, Gabriel, Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad, 2006, pp.10-11.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 4
ADM was a private-public partnership between USAID, Western Union and the Western
Union Foundation. Western Union has significant presence in global diaspora communities that
USAID operates in, and its engagement with these communities created a natural partnership
possibility between the parties. ADM was jointly funded by Western Union, the Western Union
Foundation and USAID. It was implemented by AED, Washington DC, under USAIDs FIELD-
LWA Cooperative Agreement funding mechanism. However, Western Union, USAID and
Academy for Educational Development (AED) were equally engaged in all aspects of the ADM.
George Washington University, though not a funding or implementing partner, was granted
access to all relevant ADM information necessary to conduct academic research on ADM and
on the applicants and finalists.
When first launched in mid-2009, ADM attracted the submission of 733 concept notes from the
Sub-Saharan African Diaspora based in the US to develop businesses, or grow existing
businesses, located in 19 Sub-Saharan African countries and 15 economic sectors. Following
multiple rounds of screening by AED, 58 finalists were selected and invited to submit a full
business plan and were therefore retained for the last stage of the competition. A second selection committee of 16 volunteers was assembled by AED and tasked with the final
In January 2010, a Grand Event was held in AED headquarters in Washington DC to select
the competition winners among the 58 finalists. This final selection resulted in the award of
matching grants to 14 businesses. ADM program winners received a grant matching their own
(financial or in-kind) contributions. Matching grants were offered in the range of $50,000 to
$100,000. These businesses are located in 7 Sub-Saharan African countries and cover 8
The following are the full names of the businesses that were awarded; those with asterisks
were not evaluated here. We also include in parentheses the shortened names as they will
appear in the rest of the report. These were: Global Telecommunications, PLC (Global
Tracking), Student Card Limited (Student Card), Sproxil, Inc (Sproxil), Ansa Systems Limited
(Ansa), Tek Consults [U] Ltd. (Solar Ovens), Aceritas Ghana Ltd (Aceritas), AMAD Metal
Manufacturing PLC (AMAD Metal), MicroClinics Limited, (MicroClinics), E&M Capital Tek
Corporation (Uza-Mazao), AACE Foods (AACE), EarthWise Ventures, Inc. (EarthWise Ferries),
TAF PLC (TAF BioTechnology), AADT Consultants LLC.*, and Palm Fruit Processing Company
Limited*. The fourteen businesses evaluated are alternatively referred to as a group as
projects, grantees and businesses and ADM businesses throughout the report.
A UNIQUE OUTCOME: TRANSNATIONAL FAMILY PARTNERSHIPS
These diaspora businesses are characterized by individuals with strong interest to connect with
their homeland and a purpose to invest in their home country. One unique contribution of this
initiative was to promote transnational family partnerships. Four out of the twelve projects
evaluated were initiatives among family members living in the US and the homeland.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 5
Table 1: Transnational Family Businesses within ADM
Family Ties Note
AACE (Nigeria) Ndidi Nwuneli and Mezuo Nwuneli are married returned
Aceritas (Ghana) Investment partnership among three brothers living in Ghana,
Netherlands and the U.S.
Ansa (Ghana) Paul Ansah (Diaspora) is the son of Ebenezer Ansah (Ghana
Global Tracking (Ethiopia) Zelalem Dagne (Diaspora) runs the business with his sister
Elizabeth Dagne (in Ethiopia).
TAF BioTechnology (Ethiopia)
Michael Asamere (Diaspora) is the son of Tsega Asamere
(Ethiopia partner). The product funded by ADM was managed
by Michael and his sisters (in Ethiopia).
AMAD Metal (Ethiopia) x
Diaspora partnered with a local business entrepreneur, which
as not a family member, but known to the diaspora partner.
EarthWise Ferries (Uganda) x
MicroClinics (Ghana) x
Solar Ovens (Uganda) x
Sproxil (Nigeria) x
Student Card (Ghana) x
Uza-Mazao (Kenya) x
Note: AADT Consultants (Liberia), Palm Fruit Processing (Sierra Leone), were not evaluated
due to logistical constraints.
GENERAL RESULTS OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA MARKETPLACE
Overall, the ADM exhibits partial success. The ADM projects have yet to achieve their goals
and expectations. The table below describes the projects and illustrates the challenges and
achievements to date of these grantees. Overall, most of the businesses were struggling to
accomplish their goals, both programmatically and commercially. Some, such as AACE, are
substantially promising and valuable as models of investment partnership. Others, such as
MicroClinics or Student Card, are the type that could have been avoided from the outset, had
there been a more robust design and monitoring system in place. As the table shows, not all
projects have been entirely successful and many are works in progress.
Table 2: Business Description, Main Challenges and Achievements to Date
Project Description Challenges and Achievements To Date
A food processing company that produces
preserved fruit and vegetable products
(such as jams and spreads).
AACE has developed organically increasing
production, expanding its distribution network
and line of foods. They are growing and
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 6
Aceritas is a commercial goat farm in
Ghana, which sells goats to other farmers.
It raises Boer goats, a South African variety
of goats, for Ghanas domestic market.
Aceritas is moving forward with the breeding
process but at a slow pace. Their measures to
accelerate the development of the business are
working (buy goats from Niger). In turn they will
be able to grow in the near future.
A start-up business with a goal to
manufacture a variety of metal products,
including safety deposit boxes, furniture
and electric switch-boxes.
AMAD Metals management encountered a
variety of delays and pitfalls in building its factory
from scratch on land granted to them from the
Ethiopian government. Problems included
contractor delays, inflation and price hikes in
cement. AMAD Metals most pressing problem is
its inability to access additional financing to
complete the factory and begin production.
Ansa is an electric company that supplies
power generators and regulators. It
requested an ADM grant to train its
employees to sell and maintain more
technologically advanced generators.
Ansa has been able to increase services thanks to
the training of technicians, which allow them to
improve their services. Their main need is to
train technicians in more advanced power
systems of an industrial size.
Built an adapted catamaran with engines
that run on sunflower oil, to be a safe, fast
and environmentally-friendly passenger
ferry on Lake Victoria. EarthWise Ferries
has permits to dock in Uganda, Tanzania
EarthWise Ferries has launched the first modern,
safe, passenger ferry on Lake Victoria. Its use of
advance technology limits their ability to locally
source materials and labor. Because of their use
of biofuel, EarthWise Ferries will have to charge
higher fees to compensate for faster
deterioration of their engines. Moving upmarket
will diminish its social impact, as fewer local small
business owners will probably be able to afford
Installs and maintains GPS devices for
commercial vehicles. Global Tracking
monitors driver behavior in real time,
quality controls the information received
from the devices and maintains the devices
Generates enough revenues to cover operational
costs. However, it incurred high and unexpected
customs fees on its devices, which essentially
cancelled their profit on the devices.
(Ghana) A franchising model for rural health clinics.
Prior to the grant MicroClinics had one clinic, it
promised to establish more clinics during the
grant period, and faced delays that could have
been foreseen. It failed to identify a franchisee,
and did not comply with the grant agreements
Market and manufacture Global Sun
Ovens in Uganda. Solar Ovens have been
investigating and marketing Global Sun
Ovens for five years, but the ADM grant
allowed them to actually acquire oven
parts and rent a factory location in Uganda.
The ADM disbursement was delayed, and did not
arrive until the rainy season in Uganda. The ovens
do not function at their best in the wet season,
making them harder to market and sell in the wet
season. There were difficulties in importing the
oven parts and complications with the land
granted to Solar Ovens by the government. A
pending challenge for Solar Ovens is making the
ovens affordable to their customer base. Their
two options: mass production and establishing
payment plans are not secured.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 7
Generated a coding system and provides
pharmaceutical companies with scratch-off
labels of authenticity for products sold in
Nigeria. Upon purchase, customers send
Sproxil a text message with the drug code
from the label, and Sproxil responds
validating the authenticity of the
medication and its market price.
Sproxils coding system is working successfully
and is being recognized among pharmaceutical
companies. They have opened offices in Kenya
and in India.
A personal identification card for students
and related software for students to
facilitate electronic financial transactions
for school fees and Ghanas school feeding
The proposal was incomplete and the grantee did
not demonstrate minimum criteria needed to
start a card business, including cash liquidity, AML
rules, marketing strategy or partners in place. The
project has not yet completed its initial stage of
operations and is struggling to find partners or
It solicited funds from ADM to branch into
a new business venture, which was the
production of plant clones for commercial
TAF Biotechnologys work plan was not clear in
its proposal for the ADM grant. It missed its
milestones due to delays in constructing the
laboratory and other facilities for growing and
multiplying plant tissue for clones. In August 2011
it was told that its building would be demolished
for a state infrastructure project.
A digital marketplace for farmers and
supermarkets, hotels and others that
matches sellers and buyers of agricultural
products in Kenya using cell phone text
messages and internet.
Uza-Mazao has focused primarily on engaging
farmers to register and use its services, but has
not equally engaged buyers (such as hotels,
supermarkets and others) to purchase the goods
that farmers post on the digital marketplace.
Without buyers, Uza-Mazao will not function.
Note: AADT Consultants (Liberia), Palm Fruit Processing (Sierra Leone), were not evaluated due to logistical
2. EVALUATION FRAMEWORK This section discusses our methodological framework for evaluating the ADM pilot. In order to
learn about the success of diaspora investment partnerships, like the ADM, it is important to
explore whether these partnerships fulfill their proposed goals, enhance business and
entrepreneurship and promote development. Our evaluation framework is composed of three
prongs: (1) impact on local development; (2) grantees business performance; and, (3) the ADM
design & implementation. In each prong, which has several associated indicators, we try to
identify the value-added of the role of the diaspora partnership and the ADM investment in the
Because of the structural differences between start-ups and continuing businesses, assessing
them effectively requires that the evaluation be made in relationship to the short-term goals
achieved and the investments potential returns. Therefore, when appropriate, we separate
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 8
indicators on the basis of whether the business is ongoing or a start-up. (Please see Appendix 2
for data collection and scoring process).
IMPACT ON LOCAL DEVELOPMENT
The ADM has the potential to connect diaspora to other economic opportunities and to
identify and support diaspora as agents of change through entrepreneurship in the diasporas
homelands. First, whether these projects fulfill their goals to promote development depends on
how well these projects match local needs. In this context, evaluating the local development
impact of the partnership on the community is important. Local development impact is felt
under various circumstances, including the capacity of the business to create ownership in the
community, as well as the correspondence between local needs and the intended purpose of
the partnership. Also critical is the sustainability of these ventures and their capacity to be
replicated in other environments.
GRANTEES BUSINESS PERFORMANCE
Diaspora investments can promote formal Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) creation
through several channels: (i) revenue generation, (ii) integration into the value-chain, (iii)
business formalization, and (iv) access to finance. Evaluating the grantees' business performance
vis-a-vis the determinants of success is central to the way in which these partnerships
contributed to improve the business environment.
The ADM project contributed a unique opportunity for innovation in various markets. Given
the African context where small business development is still a relatively weak sector, the
initiative is essentially needed. More importantly the model of partnership with diasporas is also
innovative in that it strengthens transnational family enterprises.
Most of the businesses would have not achieved their current position had they not received
ADM financing. However, because the businesses request for funding was not commensurable
to their needs, many underperformed relative to the ADM expectations (in milestones and
outcome indicators). Thus, the facility did not duplicate funding, but, the grant awards were not
sufficient to cover the operations many needed to generate revenue.
DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION
Finally, these partnerships typically promise to programmatically help strengthen local
businesses through increased demand for jobs, increases in locally manufactured materials, or
improvements in the business infrastructure. Programmatically, these enterprises may promise
to carryout activities that may exceed their own capacities. Thus, it is important to analyze the
correspondence between the design and implementation of these projects, and the final project
Design includes selection of grantees, clarity of program vision, roles, responsibilities and work
plan, determination of outcome indicators and milestones, development of grant agreements,
and communication among partners. Implementation measured the extent to which expected
results matched ADMs proposed outcomes. The ADMs expected outcome was, in essence,
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 9
one of two tangible products: a new operating businesses or the provision of a new product or
service within a continuing business. Here we add to comparing actual outcomes versus
expected outcomes, and consider whether the initiative is implemented smoothly,
transparently, and in such a way that strengthened partnership among the various actors and
increased the likelihood of similar funding mechanisms in the future.
Design and implementation aspects have cumulative impacts on the programs success. ADMs
pilot design showed some weaknesses that can be prevented in the future. In particular, poorly
defined measurements of performance in milestones and outcome indicators hindered effective
monitoring and evaluation of the businesses. Problems in implementation results were inherited
from the constraints found in the design.
SUMMARY OF SCORES BY EVALUATION PRONG
Below is a synthetic table of the scores for each business in the three prongs of the evaluation:
(1) impact on local development; (2) grantees business performance; and, (3) the ADM design
& implementation. In the following sectionsthree (Impact on Local Development), four (Grantees' Business Performance) and five (Design & Implementation)we describe the results
of each prong in more detail.
Table 3: Synthesis of Scores, by Business, per Evaluation Prong
AACE (Nigeria) 84% 92% 74%
Aceritas (Ghana) 72% 52% 65%
AMAD Metal (Ethiopia) 72% 48% 50%
Ansa (Ghana) 80% 80% 81%
Uza-Mazao (Kenya) 72% 68% 66%
EarthWise Ferries (Uganda) 92% 68% 56%
Global Tracking (Ethiopia) 68% 80% 69%
MicroClinics (Ghana) 64% 48% 46%
Sproxil (Nigeria) 84% 80% 76%
Student Card (Ghana) 72% 36% 33%
TAF BioTechnology (Ethiopia) 76% 36% 45%
Solar Ovens (Uganda) 60% 48% 52%
Note: Each component was scored from a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest possible score.
AADT Consultants (Liberia), Palm Fruit Processing (Sierra Leone), were not evaluated due to logistical constraints.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 10
3. IMPACT ON LOCAL
DEVELOPMENT The impact of a local development project depends on whether they change the quality of life,
improve material circumstances and increase upward mobility of people in the community and
society, that is, whether they create development. ADM supported businesses in various
African nations, with this in mind. We present indicators for assessing the extent to which the
outcomes of projects in, through, and by, the diaspora enhanced development.4 Research has
found that, for a development project to be successful, it must meet the following criteria:
ownership (local control and participation), commensurability (i.e. correspondence to
community needs), sustainability, and replicability in other contexts.5 We also examine how the
innovative natures of the ADM businesses promise to impact local development.
Table 4: Framework for measuring the development impact of diaspora projects
Ownership Commensurability Sustainability Replicability
Community members participate
in decision making
Community members participate
Community members have
control of project
Project meets basic needs
Needs met are a development priority
Implementation occurs in association or coordination
with other institutions
Project enables development goals
Does not constitute a
burden or entail
Has a long life cycle
Resources for the project are easily
available in other
Institutional environment facilitating
available in other
The projects under the AMD show diversity among the beneficiary businesses impact. On
balance, we find that the businesses brought innovative practices and technologies to local
communities that could be replicated in other countries and regions provided that there is better financial and business planning presence and a stronger correspondence between the
local needs and the investors interests. Though the impact of these businesses on the local
economy may occur in the long-term, in the short term only three or four succeeded.
Jenny Robinson (2002) wrote about the relationship between diasporas and development as being three-pronged: (1) development in the
diaspora, (2) development through the diaspora, and (3) development by the diaspora. 5
Manuel Orozco and Kate Welle, Hometown Associations and Development: Ownership, Correspondence, Sustainability and Replicability
(2006). Web Anthology on Migrant Remittances and Development: Research Perspectives. March, 2009.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 11
When considering a diasporas contribution to development, local ownership of the endeavor is
essential, and providing tools for that ownership is essential. Although ADM businesses are
diaspora-led, it is important to consider whether they also provide a means to transmit
ownership or control of the business (in part) to the local partners, to legitimate them as their
own. Ownership of a project can occur through participation in the decision-making and
implementation process or by stimulating the local economy. The case of ADM is particularly
ownership driven because the partnership included a local partner engaged with the diaspora
A typical measure of a successful development project is the generation of the communities
involvement in the business venture. A high degree of local community involvement in a
projects design and implementation and use can indicate the initiatives long-term development
impact because the group effort can increase community ties and trust. Traditional local
development projects such as improvements made to the town plaza or extension of water
services, which are able to demonstrate some level of community consensus and involvement can be considered to have generated more social capital in the process and therefore create a
more successful development project. The beneficiary businesses within the ADM project are
distinct from traditional development projects because of the type of diaspora involvement, and
the costs and benefits of running the business have an inherent level of exclusivity. Whats
more, businesses which require consensus among too many stakeholders may be less able to
respond quickly to market shifts.
While social capital generation within the community was limited for most of the projects,
social capital generation between the businesses and the migrant community abroad was more
successful. None of the projects included the community in the selection or implementation of
the business venture. Surprisingly, the Kenya business, whose Africa-based partner has limited
input in the business, managed to connect with local agricultural specialists and leverage their
community ties to get important input on the product, and make adjustments. Given the design
of the project, the businesses were not well-placed to increase social capital broadly speaking,
but several did manage to generate important outcomes in this regard.
In addition to having a local partner as owner of the entrepreneurship, several of the businesses
exhibited fostered local ownership in the businesses. For example, the devices that Global
Tracking offers (GPS tracking of vehicles) allow management to be more efficient of its staff by
improving monitoring. In doing so, the managers have greater control over how the vehicles
are handled, and care of merchandise. Additionally, the monitoring helps in lowering costs,
increasing fuel efficiency and tracking timelines of deliveries. Ansa also provides the means to
local businesses to improve the reliability of electricity and thus strengthen their control over
The degree to which a projects goal corresponds with the communitys true needs is central to
its ultimate impact on development. The more a project reflects basic community needs, the
greater its contribution to development. Diaspora awareness of the home countrys national
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 12
and local development agendas is an important step to help achieve projects correspondence
with development needs.
For most, the ADM has allowed businesses to introduce improved production methods to their
local community. The metal company in Ethiopia will introduce new safety regulations and
production methods. EarthWise Ferries has implemented safety regulations for workers and
boat passengers. Several businesses will help local markets more broadly both the Kenyan
mobile business and the Ethiopian biotech company intend to improve agriculture production.
Some businesses will demand locally produced materials, primarily raw materials such as sheet
metal and sunflower oil. At present, most source their primary materials from outside the local
community, but several intend to shift their sources to local suppliers once they are more
established. A notable example is the EarthWise Ferries, which expects to source its fuel from
local farmers. EarthWise Ferries renovation of Lake Victorias ferry route and maps are more
examples of how the businesses are responding to local infrastructure needs. Examples such as
these demonstrate the ways in which the ADM investment goes beyond strengthening businesses alone by also contributing to strengthen the demand for locally produced goods.
Most of the grantees activities also correspond to local needs due to their innovative nature,
though some are introducing more appropriate technology than others. Some, like Student
Card is yet to match technology offer with the needs of the population. Global Tracking is a
kind of business that meet the needs and demands of the local businesses and country road
management. According to the Ethiopian government, road traffic injury is a major problem of
public health. In fact, the World Health Organization places Ethiopia with the highest rate of
fatalities per vehicle in the world. Because Global Tracking uses these GPS devices in
commercial vehicles and monitors the drivers behavior, companies improve communication
with their drivers thus helping prevent accidents. MicroClinics is another example of a project
whose concept guarantees access to health through its centers. Had the business set its clinics
in place, the impact would have been greater. As of now the only operating clinic offers much
needed support to the community.
Another important factor enabling the ADM projects contribution to local development is the
businesses sustainability. A business is sustainable when it delivers the means to enable people
to improve their quality of life and material circumstances. Sustainability also requires that the
investment yield a long-lasting impact that does not burden the community or its future
generations. By its nature, measuring the sustainability of a business requires time to make
assessments. When diaspora-led projects rely on partnerships to provide public or private
funding, one way to help ensure sustainability over time is to assess how the business will
continue without such outside funding.
Four businesses promise to be sustainable in the short term, and three more to succeed in the
near future. Sproxil, Ansa, AACE and Global Tracking are generating revenues and should be
able to grow on their own. While Global Tracking has not been able to generate a profit, it is
currently covering its operational costs and shows possibilities to increase its number of clients.
However, to be sustainable, the company believes it will need more capital in the near future
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 13
(e.g. financing) to restock and increase number of devices. One of Global Trackings largest
contracts is with Coca Cola. More business growth is possible since the local market has a
tangible demand of this type of service for the long term. The potential target clients for the
business are the enterprises involved in the transportation sector. In the last years, transport
and communications amount to about 7% of the Ethiopian GDP, officials estimate. Sproxils
operations are already generating revenue and selling their systems to local clients in Nigeria.
As the company expands its product to other pharmaceutical companies, the business will
develop an organic growth. AACE also have been able to reach a point of sustainability. Their
distribution network has provided enough clients to operate in scale and keep sustained sales.
Finally, businesses can make a successful contribution to development when their attributes and
functions may be replicated with ease and do not depend on the local or unique circumstances
of a community nor on a unique situation for the institutional donor. The replicability of the
ADM businesses might allow for the establishment of regional strategies focusing on achieving a
development goal beyond the effects on a single community.
The innovative nature of these businesses renders them replicable. Even projects that failed due
to difficulties caused by the granteesin the implementation or to lack of clarity on how to run
a companyexhibit features that can be implemented elsewhere.
The table below shows the scoring performance of each project in relationship to their impact
Table 5: Scoring of Projects by Impact on Local Development
Project Impact on
Development Sustainability Ownership
(Uganda) 92% 5 5 3 5 5
AACE (Nigeria) 84% 4 5 4 3 5
Sproxil (Nigeria) 84% 4 4 3 5 5
Ansa (Ghana) 80% 4 5 2 4 5
(Ethiopia) 76% 2 5 2 5 5
Aceritas (Ghana) 72% 1 5 4 4 4
AMAD Metal(Ethiopia) 72% 1 5 2 5 5
Uza-Mazao (Kenya) 72% 4 1 3 5 5
Student Card (Ghana) 72% 1 4 3 5 5
(Ethiopia) 68% 2 2 3 5 5
MicroClinics (Ghana) 64% 1 4 2 4 5
Solar Ovens (Uganda) 60% 1 1 3 5 5
Note: AADT Consultants (Liberia), Palm Fruit Processing (Sierra Leone), were not evaluated due to
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 14
4. GRANTEES BUSINESS
PERFORMANCE The SME performance indicators consider the long-term viability of the local market impact by
analyzing the businesses sustainability and prospects for growth. We consider four areas of
importance within business development: (i) revenue generation, (ii) integration into the value-
chain, (iii) business formalization, and (iv) access to finance. Together, these characteristics can
help ensure sustainability because they strengthen small businesses ability to overcome
financial, technical, and networking constraints that they typically face. Consistent revenue
generation and formalization, when taken together, increase an SMEs ability to obtain financing
from a formal financial institution. Revenue generation allow entrepreneurs to invest in new
labor and in technological innovations to remain competitive. Incorporation into the value-chain
facilitates an SMEs ability to connect with other markets and providers, and helps the business
maintain a steady cash flow, which ultimately feeds back into revenue generation. Finally,
formalization allows SMEs better access to financing, which allows it to improve productivity
and contribute more widely to the national economy.
The table below shows how these issues apply differently depending on the kind of business
evaluatedstart up or existing.
Table 6: Evaluation Criteria Start-up and Continuing Businesses, SME Performance
Indicator Start-up Existing
Revenue generation Initial production at one year
of operation generates sales
just below or at breaking
For businesses in operation
for more than two years,
sales increase by 20% and
leave profits for reinvestment
or shareholders distribution
Value chain integration Production unit formalizes
and carries out contracts with
other enterprises in the
commoditys value chain
Achieve vertical growth by
selling to larger distributors,
adopting new methods to
Business formalization The business register its
existence with the local
Registration and licensing is
expanded to most of its
Access to finance The infusion of funding
provides an incentive to
financial institutions to
provide additional funding
The infusion of funding
provides an incentive to
financial institutions to
provide additional funding
Overall we find that businesses did not arrive at their desired goals. Some of these difficulties
stem from the businesses lack of realistic plans and knowledge of business development. In
some cases, the local environment (i.e. currency devaluations or construction supply shortages)
did not contribute to generating revenue. Moreover, the time required to carry out the
business constituted a constraint to meet ADMs expectations during the grant timeframe.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 15
In determining the strength of revenue generation within ADM, it is important to separately
analyze start-up and existing businesses, since it can be expected that start-ups operate at a loss
for the first few years.
Table 7: Revenues Generated, Yes/No, by Business
AACE (Nigeria) As of June 2011 the company began to break even
through sales of 10,000 a month.
Ansa (Ghana) This company has been generating revenue as it is
an existing business
AMAD Metal (Ethiopia) x
Global Tracking (Ethiopia)
This company has been generating revenue as it is
an existing business, but none are from the ADM
Microclinics (Ghana) /x Only one clinic was generating revenue but no
information was provided as to the amounts
Uza-Mazao (Kenya) /x
This company has registered farmers so has an
initial generation of revenue, but these gains are not
predictive of ongoing revenues.
Aceritas (Ghana) x This company has been investing resources to
prepare to launch its business in mid-2012.
Student Card (Ghana) x
Solar Ovens (Uganda) x
Note: AADT Consultants (Liberia), Palm Fruit Processing (Sierra Leone), were not evaluated due to
logistical constraints. Legend: x (No), /x (Yes, but with problems), (Yes).
Six of the businesses were actually producing or providing services associated with the ADM
funding: AACE, Ansa, Global Tracking, MicroClinics, Sproxil and Uza-Mazao.6 Global Tracking
has not been able to generate a profit, but it does have consistent revenues that cover its
operational costs. There was a new customs charge on the devices that Global Tracking was
not aware of, which cancelled out the profit margin in the pricing for its first contracts. A
business that has generated revenue since July 2011 is Nigerias AACE. As a food processing
plant they have worked closely in increasing their distribution network with contracts with
supermarkets. After nearly 18 months of being in operation, AACE has been able to generate
revenue that covers the salaries of 9 workers, and US$15,000 monthly in sales.
6 It was not possible to generate information on profit and losses. Not all businesses had accounting information at the time of the interview.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 16
None of the start-ups are generating revenue, but several show promise. On particular start-
up, Aceritas, the goat breeding business, has yet to raise revenue. Although originally Aceritas
needed to acquire 100 goats to initiate the breeding program, they were unable to acquire
more than 60 (20 of which were bought in Niger). They have not generated revenue, though
they created at least six new jobs, and expect to be in business in two years. EarthWise Ferries
also is on a trajectory to generate revenues once they begin their services.
VALUE CHAIN INTEGRATION
Most of the businesses had identified markets for their services, despite not yet producing
goods and services. This access to market demand is primarily due to the innovative nature of
the goods and services provided by the ADM businesses. A major issue faced by one Ethiopian
company and a Ugandan company is unexpected costs in the form of customs fees and
regulation. Because the products are new, it is impossible to predict these costs. EarthWise
Ferries, in Uganda, had to accommodate for an increase in costs, associated with more
expected breakdowns and shorter lifespan of its ferry engines from use of biofuel, by increasing its fares and shifting its consumer base upmarket. EarthWise Ferries has adapted its routes and
done marketing across a wider array of consumers to tap into tourist, government and
international business sectors.
AACE and Aceritas are key examples where integration into the value chain has taken place.
AACE has aptly and successfully moved up in scale not only adding employees and revenue but
also connecting its products to wider distribution networks. Aceritas, the goat farm project in
Ghana, has also been able to show some level of transnational and national integration, by
consuming local raw materials, and buying goats from Niger and South Africa, which expanded
Most of the businesses were formally registered before the ADM competition. However, the
ADM did spur a few to register to compete for the ADM funding. For example, TAF
Biotechnology registered in 2010 in Addis Ababa despite having been in operation for 15 years
prior to the ADM grant. Of those that registered for the ADM funding, at least one was
granted land by the national government. AMAD Metal, which was granted land by the
Ethiopian government, is using the land to build its factory. Another business, MicroClinics,
started quite late in its operations due to delays in obtaining permits and did not utilize the
funding to complete three or more clinics as it had promised. In their case, formalization was
incomplete because they lacked permits to establish the clinics.
ACCESS TO FINANCE
For most of the businesses, ADM funding made it possible for them to either start their
businesses or represented a critical injection of funding to get their products off the ground.
The support of ADM was mentioned as an important seal of quality for businesses looking for
additional investment and access to markets. Beyond the funding, having the support of ADM
may contribute to long-term sustainability. However, the ADM requirement of formally
registering did not seem to have substantially helped in opening grantees options for formal
financing. In particular, AMAD Metal was finding it difficult to access bank credit due to
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 17
stringent capital requirements for new businesses, as well as nationwide restrictions on credit
Table 8: Scoring of Grantees, by Grantees' Business Performance
(Nigeria) 92% 5 5 4 4 5
Ansa (Ghana) 80% 5 4 4 2 5
(Ethiopia) 80% 3 5 4 4 4
(Nigeria) 80% 5 4 4 2 5
(Kenya) 68% 3 5 3 4 2
(Uganda) 68% 1 5 3 4 4
(Ghana) 52% 5 2 1 1 4
(Ethiopia) 48% 5 2 1 2 2
(Ghana) 48% 2 2 1 2 5
(Uganda) 48% 5 1 1 3 2
(Ghana) 36% 1 2 1 2 3
(Ethiopia) 36% 1 1 1 3 3
Note: AADT Consultants (Liberia), Palm Fruit Processing (Sierra Leone), were not evaluated due to
5. DESIGN & IMPLEMENTATION The project design criteria are structured to measure critical aspects of the design of the
program, i.e. selection of grantees, clarity of program vision, roles, responsibilities and work
plan, determination of outcome indicators and milestones, development of grant agreements,
and communication among partners. Implementation, as understood by the community and
diaspora leaders themselves working on the activity, provides a framework of the success of the
development project itself, but not the impact. Here we consider whether the initiative is
implemented smoothly, transparently, and in such a way that strengthened partnership among
the various actors and increased the likelihood of similar funding mechanisms in the future.
Below we illustrate the typical indicators that would be used to evaluate design and
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 18
Table 9: Evaluation Indicators Start-up and Continuing Businesses
Smooth implementation process (this means, the bureaucratic process is free of bottlenecks
or administrative hassle)
Matched product delivery (ensuring that what the organization proposed to do with the
resources at hand matched with what they ended up with, both in terms of the end product
and its quality).
In observing the ADM design, we found several limitations that may have affected the projects
implementation. The ADM objectives and purpose was written down in the proposal, namely
to support the entrepreneurial spirit and resources of the U.S.-based African diaspora
community to promote economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa by facilitating diaspora
direct investment (DDI) in viable small and medium enterprises. Nevertheless, management
partners differed substantially in their perspectives of the purpose of the ADM, and staff
interviewed felt that the ADM objectives were moving targets. There was disagreement as to
whether the purpose of the proposal was to get diasporas to participate in a partnership or to
promote business development.
Central to grant approval is the review process and its outcome. Those who participate in the
review are typically people with experience in the field and area of attention. Proposal
reviewers included people in business or development; however, it seemed they lacked
expertise on diasporas or on grant proposal review or the time to carefully review the
proposals. Many of the proposals exhibited clear weaknesses in the design where a close read
and review could have prevented their approval or errors in implementation.
Other issues include aspects such as grant timelines and milestones. Grant timelines, which
formed the basis for the grantees milestones, did not reflect their stage of development, and
are not indicative of future success (see Appendix 3 for grantees milestones). ADMs
structured timelines generated problems that grew over the course of the granting period. A
timeline of 18 months is dramatically short when it comes to supporting small business
development, and it is even shorter for a startup. This issue alone limits the evaluation of a
business performance. The time it takes for a business to take off from an early stage of
formation into an operational one can be as long as a year, and going from a startup stage to
being fully operational, with material and financial resources in place, can take an additional
year. These missteps from the outset set the grantees up to fail in achieving project milestones, despite their being tailored to each grantee. Finally, milestones were often about one particular
activity or output (purchasing equipment, training, etc.), which even if completed would not
mean that the business was sustainable.
Outcome indicators suffered similar shortcomings as milestones, but for different reasons.
Outcome indicators were uniform across grantees:
Number of Direct Jobs Created
Number of Unique Customers
Profitability or Net Income
Additional Financial Investment Leveraged
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 19
Additional In-Kind Investment Leveraged
However, these indicators failed to reflect the businesses type of operations and were not
commensurate with the activities needed for good business performance. In the first case, all grantees were expected to provide evidence of number of jobs, number of unique customers,
profitability, additional financing, additional leveraging. From the start, for example, not all
potential businesses can be expected to be in a position to show new jobs or new customers,
much less profits. Due to their innovative nature, many of the business were capital intensive,
and therefore generating new jobs would not be an appropriate indicator of their success
overall. Others, like most startups, needed time to work on job creation or to show any net
income. More importantly is the question as to whether these are the type of indicators one
should expect out of an emerging business. Inappropriate outcome indicators precluded
businesses from performing well per ADMs expectations. Insufficient monitoring and
evaluations missed opportunities to avoid delays in operations and to keep the businesses on
track (though not necessarily on time) to fulfill proposed business activities.
It is important to note that lack of planning from the outset and insufficient documentation of
the ADM goals, budget for activities (such as monitoring and evaluation) and concrete
indicators for success, was further exacerbated by changes in personnel. While changes in
staffing is difficult to control, its impacts should be considered at the beginning of the ADM
design process and steps should be in play to minimize the negative impact of staff rotation on
the results of the granting facility as a whole. Institutional mechanisms for transparency and
communication among the implementing partners should also be solidified and used during the
design and implementation.
6. TENTATIVE CONCLUSIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS The ADM has the potential to connect diaspora to other economic opportunities and to
identify and support diaspora as agents of change through their entrepreneurship in their
homelands. As can be expected from people with different personalities, the ADM grantees
highlighted different aspects of the granting facility that they were excited about and that they
had hoped would have been more developed in the program. For example, Solar Ovens and
Global Tracking diaspora partners were very excited about enriching the linkages between the
grantees. AMAD Metal and EarthWise Ferries wished that ADM had provided more
opportunities to network with investors. Both suggested a complementary
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 20
mentoring/networking program for businesses in the US in the same sector to work with them
as they develop their own businesses in their homelands. Several of the grantees saw the award
as an honor in addition to the monetary grant, and they consider themselves as part of a first
ADM cohort. It could be worthwhile to capitalize on this sense of belonging among the
grantees by integrating them into future ADM iterations.
Moving ahead, there are a few mechanisms that can increase the likelihood for success among
beneficiary businesses of business plan competitions. First, it is quite important for USAID to
improve its involvement in the selection and implementation process. This activity includes
improving the design of the facility and introducing more oversight on the review of proposals,
for example. A grant facility aiming to promote development through business enterprises
share very similar characteristics in its design to other kinds of facilities. Specifically, the
minimum components of a granting facility must include the following items:
a) Definition of objectives that correspond to the mandate and goals of the facilitys sponsors;
b) Clear guidelines for the application process (this component typically includes conditions to participate, clarity in the activities allowed to carry out, matching requirements, budget
consistent with activities, expected results and risks) that reflect objectives;
c) Proposal scoring mechanisms that serves as guidelines to reviewers to determine their selection;
d) Proposal reviewers with expertise in the field; e) Monitoring and evaluation tools to track the implementation of the grant; f) Work plan outlining the management of the grant facility.
Fixing a grant amount is a measure that does not correspond to the specific needs of a
particular project in search for funding. Rather it is best to evaluate every proposal by its own
merits associated with its objectives, activities, costs related to the activities, proposed results
and possible risks. The exercise alone is far more convincing and realistic to the applicant than
submitting funding for a fixed figure.
The selection process could be improved to ensure long-term development impact involves
working more closely with candidates to develop a sensible business plan that considers the
business feasibility and sustainability, as well as gaps in knowledge and possible obstacles to
implementation. Applicants could be accompanied by small business advocates in the creation of
their business plan; in this way, they would benefit from the ADM selection process even if they
are not ultimately awarded funding.
Monitoring tools could be improved to better track businesses progress and preempt
problems before they derail production. Some of the challenges that have slowed success in the
ADM pilot relate to lack of understanding on how to take a business to a next level. Monitoring
the process would improve this situation.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 21
RECOMMENDATIONS: DEFINING AN APPROPRIATE PARTNERSHIP FOR
ADM AND SIMILAR FACILITIES
We propose a cooperation and partnership model between diasporas and governments for
initiatives that foster diaspora-led development. The recommendation suggests adopting
different modalities of cooperation that draw strength from the shared interests, purposes and
endowment of governments and diasporas to enable specific activities or projects typical of
development policy. The main focus of a partnership approach is to look into the operational
aspects over the political considerations, without undermining the importance of the latter. A
partnership in and of itself is a political choice by players to share their goals and resources on
particular issues. There are also more instrumental considerations about the establishment of
partnerships that pertain to the implementation of successful objectives. Deciding to engage on
a remittance-related development partnership between diasporas, governments and other
players involves different dynamics and steps.
There are particular initiatives that meet remittance-related development goals through
partnerships. However, the partnership arrangement requires an understanding also of the limitations and capacities of the players involvedgovernments and diaspora organizations in
particular. It also depends on the expected results, instruments and risks.
In this context, we find that current partnership practice and lessons learned on previously
existing partnerships between governments and diasporas and other type of alliances show
three main modalities:
Policy or norm setting partnerships
Environment enabling or instrumental partnerships
Operational-technical intervention or resource investment partnerships
Partnerships often include a combination of these modalities; however, there is a prevalence of
one choice over the others.
Policy or Norm Setting Partnerships
These seek to set rules, agendas or standards relating to common issues. When it refers to
remittance-related trends, an example of norm setting includes principles on money transfer
practices, and scorecards on transaction cost.
Environment Enabling or Instrumental Partnerships
These are collaborative commitments aimed at facilitating an ongoing process, or ensuring,
rather than shaping, the success of an outcome. This is also known as development through the
diaspora, a practice by which diaspora associations or businesses operate as conduits of the
development process. Examples include cooperative engagements to support the success of a
particular goal, such as financial literacy, increased financial access for migrants. In these cases,
governments and migrant associations partner with NGOs and international development
agencies to facilitate the implementation of massive educational programs or information
dissemination about financial access to families who receive remittances.
Operational or Technical Intervention Partnerships
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 22
These are also described as development by the diaspora, and is an effort by which migrant
associations partner directly with governments and other agents to work in concrete
development projects, contributing their own resources and participating in the implementation
and monitoring, that is, shaping the success of the outcome.
RECOMMENDATIONS: CONDITIONS OF A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP
Diasporas and governments have expressed interest and willingness to partner to leverage
remittances for development. For many, these expressions of interest have come with
uninformed knowledge of each others counterparts (that includes assumptions or false or
inaccurate projections), poorly prepared proposals for joint work, no resource endowment to
contribute, or with the wrong interlocutor or environment.
This section and the next offers a partnership model with diasporas that incorporates policy
solutions to the issues that can further link remittances to development through a partnership that empowers all participants, validates their collaborative efforts toward development, and
builds achievable results. The model considers these modalities, which are associated to typical
partnership conditions to an efficient alliance, such as holding common ideas and goals held by
stakeholders and joint and pooled resource commitment. This approach also considers other
components that guarantee the implementation of a successful cooperative engagement.
The main thrust of this model consists in promoting and achieving an engagement by which
diasporas, government officials, local private sector entities, and international cooperation
identify solutions to address problems associated to increasing financial access to remittance
recipients. Such solutions are adopted by following an implementation framework that requires
the recognition among stakeholders of key points:
Clear Shared Goals
Commitment to a Timeline
Trust and Accountability
Communication and Information Sharing
Measure of Expected Results
In cooperative efforts, symmetry is a condition that demands first and foremost proportionality and equal sharing of responsibilities and commitments among prospective partners. It does not
necessarily refer to equal contribution of material resources or to equal power positioning,
but does not exclude this possibility. Partner symmetry is the commitment that all players will
abide to the goals adopted, commit to the obligations assumed, and participate in the activities
they commit. In a way, by agreeing to a symmetric relationship, partners are signing a
contractual arrangement to work together while taking on the responsibilities, obligations and
activities they have chosen to commit to. Partner symmetry thus establishes the basis of
accountability among players. In order to achieve symmetry each participant must lay out their
endowments committed to the partnership in full transparency.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 23
Clear Shared Goals
Clarity of goal sharing consists of an exercise by partners to intelligibly decide on and be aware
of the goals to adopt and achieve. The act of sharing goals is a political decision by which
participants commit to work together on a particular objective or common agenda. Therefore,
selecting to work in such fashion depends on a) technical advice to equip partners with the
skills to identify those issues that are more likely to meet the interests of players; b) facilitation
to distinguish between development needs rather than wants; and c) intermediation to choose
a minimum workable agenda. Goal sharing thus involves the capacity to have a formed and
informed knowledge of the properties embedded in the achievement of a goal.
Partners are required to committing resources to achieve the partnerships goals. Resource
commitment demands pooling endowments from various sources. It does not demand
symmetry in the allocation but rather commitment to the promised resources. This
commitment requires a strict correspondence between the means to achieve the activities in a
project and the partners own endowment. Therefore, partners are to be in a position to
identify their capacities vis a vis their goals, and seek to obtain and allocate those assets
The ability to organize the project in the partnership according to a timeline is an important ingredient of success as it ensures the realization of the objective as planned. Moreover, setting
timelines functions as a control mechanism that sets in place various stages of implementation.
Partners are to commit to meet those timelines, and ensure that the objective is delivered or
achieved as planned.
Trust and Accountability
Partners that engage on a collaborative agreement are to provide some minimum ingredient of
trust among each other that assures the other of their intentions. Trust building instruments
include the written agreements, resource and timeline commitments, as well as disclosures of a
players institutional operation and the presence of a channel of communication with a reliable
counterpart. Another important component of trust is the provision of access to information,
knowledge and networks to aspects that can strengthen the partnership. Accompanying trust is the establishment of mechanisms that hold the partners accountable to their commitments and
activities in ways that the operation is transparent and efficient. Accountability functions as a
check and balance that strengthens trust among partners and motivates them to fulfill their
Communication and Information Sharing
The partnership requires that a line of communication and information is shared regularly
among players in order to stay informed about the quality and progress of the partnership. In
this case, a plan for monitoring and evaluation would be helpful to have in place. In the process
of forming a plan, partners can clarify their expectations for the project and also solidify a
baseline structure for communicating project progress among partners.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 24
Measure of Expected Results
The expected results need to correspond with the goals set as well as with a measurable set of
indicators that evaluates the extent of achievement to the proposed outcomes. The decisions
to engage those components into a partnership are political in nature but operational in
practice. In that sense the steps taken to adopt a partnership include a mix of these
components that help players decide on their best choice. Of particular importance is to
consider a framework on development impact. Considerations on development and migration
include four particular indicators: ownership, commensurability, sustainability and replicability.
Diaspora and government partnerships on development incorporate mechanisms that a) create
ownership to the communities that benefit from projects; b) clearly distinguishes between
needs and wants of the beneficiaries; c) ensures that the partnership provides the tools for a
projects self-sustainability after its implementation and d) contains attributes and instruments
that can be replicated elsewhere.
RECOMMENDATIONS: STEPS TO BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL PARTNERSHIP
Taking the first step to engage players to forge a partnership often times is the most difficult
path to make. However, along the way, stakeholders find solutions to solve problems they
didnt foresee. It is important to consider preliminary first steps (i.e. trust building, goal setting
and communication) to forging a partnership. A second step consists of evaluating the costs of
engagement, durability and expected risks. Third is the implementation of the partnership with
resource endowment, a work plan with a timeline, and measurable indictors of performance
and final results.
Step One: Building Trust, Communication, and Setting Goals
There are key issues to clear up as prerequisite to a partnership. Building trust among potential
partners is a key component. In order for governments to trust diasporas and vice versa they
need to know each other better, and remove assumptions or false expectations. That exercise builds trust. Many African governments often maintain a bifurcated and contradictory image of
their emigrant communities. Diasporas are often perceived by governments to be wealthy and
capable to become investors, parallel to this they see families of migrants as poor and incapable
of building assets. The reality is mostly the inverse; immigrants are relatively poor (particularly
those in Spain, the Netherlands and Italy, and less in England, France or the United States).
Their relatives in the home country have improved their condition and have been able to save
considerable amounts, albeit informally. Migrants and migrant associations also assume their
home country governments are ineffective institutions and corruptible, with little commitment
to work on development plans. On both sides there exists an absence of clear knowledge
about each other.
Similarly, through joint meetings, governments and diasporas can learn to communicate their
views and interest, and craft with the help of experts, agendas that they can have a buy in into a
partnership. Communication efforts include exchanging information about the right
counterparts and interlocutors to deal with, understanding the institutional mechanics of how
diaspora associations work and government agencies entrusted with diaspora affairs operate.
Goal setting strategies are also a first step to establish a relationship toward a partnership. The
process to identify common goals is essential and requires of the advice of experts and
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 25
facilitators that provide information about issues of common interests and ways to select and
choose those particular goals they see fit their interests, commitments and capacities.
Step Two: Estimating Partnership Costs, Durability and Risks
The second step looks at the partnership possibilities by considering the material circumstances
and realities of setting in place a joint collaborative project. Three considerations to that are
the evaluation of costs, the length of time to carry the partnership and project and the risks
such engagement can entail. Evaluating costs is an exercise typical of an estimation of seeing the
partnership as a project that requires a range of activities (organizational and operational) for
its implementation. This review includes the assessment of available resources and resources
(financial and human) needed to be raised to carry out the partnership.
Accompanied to the cost estimation is the durability of the partnership and the projects. Many
times the lifespan of a partnership is defined by the goal itself, and in other cases is not. There
are long lasting partnerships that maintain an ongoing review of goals and objectives attached to
concrete activities and expected results. Therefore defining the durability of the partnership as a means to a projects end or to a long-term collaboration is a critical decision and step. But
also setting timelines for the partnerships activities is also important. As mentioned earlier, the
timelines function as benchmark setting devises that help partners and on the ground
practitioners attach to a particular timed structure.
The risks of a partnership are equally twofold. There are grander political risks associated to a
partnership between the diaspora and the government and other players. The second kind of
risk is related to the activities that come with the partnership and include calculations of
problems that can result during the implementation of the partnership. Many activities do not
foresee risks that could result in the process because the expectations were not properly
informed with adequate data, information, resources or expert advice. The components of
these three elements however contribute to solidify a firm decision to proceed or return and
re-explore the partnership. The third step to follow gives way to the partnership itself.
Step Three: Partnership Formalization, Implementation and Evaluation
This step is the most fundamental and foundational of the entire engagement. It is the
formalization and initiation of the partnership by working concretely in any of the modalities
adopted (norm, enabling or operational). The implementation depends on the articulation of
the commitments placed (shared objectives, resources, expected risks), to develop the
collaborative exercise. Through the process there exist a feedback between the activities and
their evaluation, in combination with exercises of checks and balances to ensure accountability
of performance in the partnership by the participants and the project itself.
RECOMMENDATIONS: TECHNICAL ADVISORS
A final recommendation is utilizing technical advisors. The partnership can maximize impact by
relying on technical experts that help determine weaknesses and areas of adjustment.
Specifically, some businesses find themselves in a holding pattern, unable to grow due to
uncertainty about next steps, including whether to obtain more capital, further modernize their
production process, hire new workers, change raw materials, etc. Technical advisors can help
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 26
find solutions in the short term. Some barriers that ADM businesses face, and which a technical
advisor could help overcome include:
Operations: Although participants had business backgrounds, many were venturing
into new areas. Some businesses found it difficult to equip factories and start
production. Technical assistance to fill gaps in business knowledge would be useful for
businesses to fulfill their timelines.
Financing: Several businesses had difficulties obtaining business development loans, and
finding investors. A technical advisor could help connect these viable businesses with
financial institutions interested in supporting them.
Efforts such as these would ensure that more businesses overcome barriers that might
otherwise cause them to shut down or, at the very least, slow business growth and limit the
economic impact of each awardee. It is estimated that a part-time technical advisor could
sufficiently respond to the needs of the projects currently in place, with the result being
improved development impact within 2-3 years.
Assessment, African Diaspora Marketplace 27
Management People interviewed:
Sarah Mattingly, previous Technical Director for ADM, AED
Laura Muzart, current Program officer for ADM, AED
Paul Bundick, Director, Field-Support LWA, AED
Nussi Abdullah, Deputy Project Director and Microenterprise Learning Manager, AED
Romi Bhatia, Senior Advisor for Diaspora Partnerships, USAID
Yvon Resplandy, Senior Advisor for Diaspora and Remittances, USAID
Barbara Span, VP, Public Affairs, Western Union
Thomas Debass, Director for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State
Borany Penh, Senior Trade and Economic Advisor, USAID
African Diaspora And Partners Interviewed, August 2011: Henry Adobor, Green Acres Goat Farm, Ghana
Michael Asamere, TAF BioTechnology, Ethiopia
Solomon Berhanu, AMAD Metal Manufacturing PLC: Metal Products Fabrication, Ethiopia
Kojo Benjamin Taylor, Using Franchising Business Model to Improve Access to Healthcare in
Raymond Rugemalira, Uza-Mazao(TM), Kenya
Nwando Ajene, Processing and Preserving West Africa's Best Fruits and Vegetables, Nigeria
Robert Smith, EarthWise Ferries Uganda Ltd: A company dedicated to restoring Passenger
Ferries on Lake Victoria, Uganda
Zelalem Dagne, Fleet Management System (Vehicle Tracking), Ethiopia
Tenu Awoonor, Student Card: Creating a Cashless Environment for our Future Generation,
Ashifi Gogo, Sproxil.com: Mobile-based Brand management & Anti-counterfeiting for Cash-